James Rowe was born in Horrabridge, Devonshire, England in 1865. During his lifetime, Rowe claimed to have written more than 19,000 song texts.
He, along with music composer Howard E. Smith wrote this hymn in Saugatuck, Connecticut in 1912. According to Rowe's daughter, “Howard E. Smith was a little man whose hands were so knotted with arthritis that you would wonder how he could use them at all, much less play the piano.... I can see them now, my father striding up and down humming a bar or two, and Howard E. playing it and jotting it down.”
I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more,
But the Master of the sea, heard my despairing cry,
From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.
Love lifted me! Love lifted me!
When nothing else could help
Love lifted me!